Federal Parliament - Early Childhood Education

22 June 2023

Questions Without Notice

Early Childhood Education

Dr MULINO (Fraser) (14:58): My question is to the Minister for Early Childhood Education. Why is the Albanese Labor government so focused on delivering cost-of-living relief to Australian families by making early
childhood education more affordable?

Dr ALY (Cowan—Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth) (14:59): I thank the member for Fraser for his question because I know that, like me, he's incredibly excited about the fact that 6,600 families in Fraser will benefit from our boost to the childcare subsidy. The member has asked me why we are so focused on delivering this. Quite simply, it's because it's the right thing to do. It's because this government knows that the first five years of a child's life set the foundation for their future. It's because this government knows that the cost of early learning and care has put it out of reach for so many families for far too long. It's because this government wants to lift productivity and increase workforce participation. And it's because investing in early learning is an investment in our economy and an investment in our future. That's why, on every day since the Prime Minister used his budget reply speech to make our government's commitment to more affordable early learning, we have been working to deliver on that commitment to the Australian people.

Our changes will boost the childcare subsidy for over 1.2 million families right across Australia, and that includes 265,000 families in rural and regional Australia. That's real cost-of-living relief. That's real money back in the pockets of Australian families. We know that there is more work to do, because we're also looking to the future and taking steps to consider how we build a world-class, affordable early learning system that works for every Australian child. That means children in Cowan, children in Fraser, children in Swan, children in Gellibrand and children in every Australian electorate right across the country. We will build a system that is flexible and responsive to children and their families' needs.

Parents like Lauren, who is a teacher from Victoria, told me how important early learning is. This is what Lauren had to say: 'Access to affordable and quality early learning is essential for me if I am to achieve the career I desire. I am so thankful that we have a quality local centre that allows me to achieve the balance between what I want professionally and personally'. Our reforms are going to assist people like Lauren and families across the country. We will continue to make early learning a priority for this government. (Time expired)